fires in yl and la

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I just wanted to thank Chad and Andrea for asking about my family and their home in Yorba Linda.  Saturday night they were evacuted and met several other families in their ward at the church house.  Fortunately, my family is safe, as is their home. Unfortunately, many hundreds of families in the LA area have suffered damage, even the complete burning of their homes to the ground. Several family friends have lost their homes, and I know that we will continue to hear about the devastation from the wild fires. My heart and our prayers go out to anyone who lost or received damage to their homes.
Currently, my parent’s home is being remodeled (the entire first floor…basically everything except the bedrooms upstairs), it has been a stressful time for my parents (especially my mom), my brothers, and my Grommie who is living with them. They have been patient with the garage kitchen, flies for dinner companions, and having to do laundry outside of the home for months (things I take for granted everyday).
Just before my 16th birthday, we had a terrible kitchen fire that damaged the entire downstairs and smoke damage throughout the rest of the home. Photographs were probably some of the few things we could not replace. We had 2 minutes to salvage what we needed, and so I ran to my room and grabbed my photos, journals, scriptures, and my school backpack (not first on my priority list that night). Despite it being Sunday, we went to the mall that night and bought a few outfits as we had nothing but the dresses we had worn to church that morning.
We lived for 7-8 months in a rental home down the street with minimal rented furnishings and kitchen items. Our lives were extremely simple (well, for us kids…my mom was frantically trying to deal with the mess and purchase what we needed once the home was fixed), we enjoyed that time together as a family. Though I couldn’t imagine my family having to experience that hardship again, I knew that they could do it again if they had to.
As time goes on, as the fires continue to rage, the tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, droughts, and hunger continue to devastate (whether literally or figuratively), may we cling to those that we love, continue to ‘prepare every needful thing,’ and reach out to those within our reach who can use our help and friendship. Love you mom and dad, Brig, Jonny & Grommie, soo glad you are safe!

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